I listen to ESPN radio on my way to work each morning. It’s a 25-minute drive. Last Christmas, I used gift money to get XM Satellite radio, so I can switch between various news and music channels. But in the morning, I mostly keep it on ESPN. So I’m a shallow guy.
This morning, they were talking about last night’s Cowboys-Eagles game (which I missed). They noted that on Monday morning, Bill Parcells attended the funeral for his brother, but that he was on the field coaching at night. Mike and Mike (the ESPN hosts) criticized that, and I certainly agree.
Brett Favre, the Packers quarterback, set a record for playing in consecutive games. But along the way, he buried his father, his wife suffered cancer, and there was some other similar event which I can’t remember, all of which occurred during the football season. But on Sunday, Favre was on the field leading his team.
I remember watching the McLaughlin Group one Sunday, and noting that Eleanore Clift just seemed out of it. At the end of the show, John McLaughlin, the host, said something to this effect: “On Wednesday of this week, Eleanore’s husband,____, passed away. But she’s here today, because that’s what he would have wanted.”
My immediate thought was, “McLaughlin used that line on her to get her to appear. He was just too lazy to go get a replacement, and certainly far too insensitive to think maybe she should just take a week off.”
I imagine Bill Parcells was told, “Your brother would want you to be coaching tonight. It’s what you do. He’ll be watching. Blah blah blah.” And Brett Favre probably heard (or said) the same thing regarding his father, his wife, his relatives in New Orleans post-Katrina.
Well, I think that stinks. Take some days off. Mourn for your father, your husband. Spend time with your wife as she suffers from cancer, even if your streak ends. Show some sense of priority.
If I fall over dead today, I hereby give my wife and family permission to break their usual routines. It’s okay if Pam doesn’t run the sound next Sunday. It’s okay if my Dad finds someone to sub for him in the pulpit at his church, while he deals with the death of his eldest son. It’s okay if my two brothers are bummed out, and don’t do all the things that were on their schedules for the coming week. If anything should happen to them, I certainly wouldn’t be carrying on as usual–playing in the worship team next Sunday, writing new blog entries, going to the ping pong club–under the pretense that, “That’s what he would have wanted me to do.”Leave a comment